When my kids were little, I used to help out in the nursery at church. The church we attended had a policy that men were not allowed to change diapers. Don’t get me wrong… I am in no hurry to change some kid’s poopy diaper. But at the time, this seemed to me like I was the victim of a GREAT INJUSTICE. My fragile feelings were hurt… “Here I am, volunteering in the nursery, and I’m being treated like a second class citizen and kept away from the kids’ diapers, JUST BECAUSE men are statistically WAY more likely to molest children,” I told myself. “This is like I’m being racially profiled, just because I’m a man!” Yup… That’s what I told myself. Then I thought about if I wanted some DUDE in church anywhere near my daughter’s diaper area… Nope. No thanks. Okay, I get it. Men are way more likely to be creepy, abusive criminals than women. I don’t fault anyone for knowing how to read a graph.
When it was discovered that Mollie Tibbetts’ accused killer was a Mexican immigrant, the republicans grossly, racistly, and fear-mongeringly used that fact to push for their border wall (though if the killer were Canadian, I doubt whether they would have called for a wall on our Northern border). But when she went missing and they were looking for a suspect, do you think they were looking for a male or a female killer? Who did YOU think did it? A woman??? Not likely…
After white nationalists used Mollie’s murder to fan the flames of xenophobia, a member of her family (cousin Sandi Tibbetts Murphy) posted a scathing status on her Facebook page (along with an aunt who wrote “Remember evil comes in every color”). She has since made the post (and her profile) private — And I wouldn’t doubt for a minute that it had something to do with the responses of toxic men online — But you can read her powerful response in the screen captures below.
She doesn’t places the blame on immigrants or Spanish-speaking people with brown skin, but instead squarely on the shoulders of Male Entitlement & Toxic Masculinity. The thing is, if it was actually TRUE that More Immigrants meant More Crime, we could have a conversation about that… But as you can see in THESE TWO CHARTS, the opposite is actually true. Immigrants — both legal AND undocumented — are far LESS likely to commit crimes. And the more immigrants an area has, statistically the less violent crime it experiences. But do you know what data we DO have?
- 89.5% of homicides in America — MEN
- 96% of homicides Worldwide — MEN
- 90% of murder/suicides — MEN
- 12 times as likely as women to perpetrate abuse against children — MEN
- 98.9% of rapes — MEN
- 98% of the mass shooters since 1982 — MEN
- 94.4% of serial killers — MEN
- 80% of the murders of kids under 5 years old not killed by their parent — MEN
- 80.4% of all violent crime arrests — MEN
When Mollie Tibbetts’ accused killer was identified as a Mexican immigrant, Latino people all over the country felt it. If a bomb goes off somewhere, or if someone shoots up a mall, or if someone drives a truck into a crowd of people, Muslims all over America are praying, “PLEASE let this person not be a Muslim.” But the common denominator of violent actions is NOT religion or ethnicity… It is SEX. And yet, when news of YET ANOTHER school shooting comes in, I — as a person with a penis — am not sitting around worrying about the gender of the shooter because I’m going to be experiencing fresh fear hatred and discrimination if the shooter turns out to be male. Do you know WHY? BECAUSE THE GENDER OF THE SHOOTER WAS NEVER IN DOUBT! It was ALWAYS going to be a guy who did it. When a man murdered 59 people from a hotel room in Las Vegas, if the shooter had been black, it’d been a race war… If the shooter had been hispanic, we’ve got to Build That Wall… If the shooter had been a Muslim, it’d be terrorism… But since he was a white guy, it was obviously mental illness. But make no mistake: It was ALWAYS going to be a man.
And for some reason, we don’t feel like all of us men should be held accountable for this steady stream of male violence. Because that would be “unfair.” That would be “discrimination.” These people want to use the fact that Mollie Tibbetts’ murderer was an immigrant to discriminate against ALL immigrants, but they recoil at the “unfairness” of talking about the fact that over 19 out of 20 of ALL MURDERS are committed by men. Just like me, as a young father in that church nursery, feeling the sting of “unfairness” at being told that men weren’t allowed to change any dirty diapers. Well… Get over it, snowflake. Maybe Feminists aren’t “Man-Haters.” Maybe they are just people who know how to read a graph.
Yesterday, Louis CK showed up unannounced at the Comedy Cellar. It was the first time he has performed since admitting to sexual misconduct (which is a nice way of saying admitting to masturbating in front of female comics whose careers he had the power to destroy, while using that same power to black list women who came forward to talk about what he did). He received a standing ovation. It had been all of 10 months since he said he was going to “take some time to listen.” Weirdly enough, it is VERY difficult to find someone defending him who is NOT a white male. How strange…
In Oklahoma last week, a 14 year-old girl was repeatedly stabbed by a 14 year-old boy. He moved behind her during a “Welcome Back” assembly, he stood up without saying anything, he pulled out a four inch folding knife, and he stabbed her about 10 times in the upper back, arm, wrist and head. He said he did this because she rejected his advances for a closer relationship… She just wanted to be friends.
This past week it was revealed that Catholic priests sexually abused, molested, and raped over 1000 kids in Pennsylvania, and that most of the abusive priests were moved around rather than being reported to the authorities, their acts covered up by the highest levels of the Catholic Church. This is just yet another chapter to the story of the worldwide epidemic of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests. It would be foolish to attempt to simplify the deep, deep problems within the Catholic Church down to one issue… But the fact that their leadership is ENTIRELY MALE is not unrelated to the Catholic Church’s systemic sexual abuse. You know what? Maybe the Bible wasn’t using the word “man” as a gender inclusive pronoun… I’m starting to think the writers MEANT IT when they wrote stuff like “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
When I write something that pisses people off, and I imagine some crazy person killing me for writing it, it’s not a woman I’m worried about. Want to know who the absolute WORST people online are? Men. Yes, there are a few exceptions to the rule (I’m looking at you, Ann Coulter. Where do you think YOU’RE going, Tomi Lahren?), but by and large, if you run into an truly awful person on Twitter — A person who STUNS you with their grossness and depravity — that person is going to be male. The worst people in the world are men. That’s just a fact. If you compiled a list of the 100 worst people in the world — the most dangerous, the most capable and willing to do vast amounts of harm, the most greedy, narcissistic, abusive people on the planet — how many out of 100 do you think would be men? It would HAVE to be in the high 80’s at least, right? Low 90’s? MID 90’s??
You’re probably thinking, “ALRIGHT! We GET it… Men are shit. What do we DO about it?” Two things: 1) I’m not saying all men are shit. I’m a man, and I don’t think I’m shit… At least not complete shit. It’s just harder for me to UNLEARN the many shitty things the world has taught me about what it means to be a man. And 2) The problem is not masculinity. It is TOXIC masculinity. Toxic masculinity doesn’t mean all masculinity is toxic, just as strawberry yogurt doesn’t mean all yogurt is strawberry. Toxic masculinity is a narrow view and practice of what it means to be a man, and it focuses around aggression, violence, dominance, sex, status, subordination of women, etc… It devalues and dismisses empathy and emotion. Here is a great tweet about it:
Here is another amazing tweet. Please read it a few times, and think about how true these words are: “Once you have been taught to dismiss your own emotions, it is a simple step to dismiss those of others.”
It is “Boys don’t cry.” It is “Be a man.” It is “Throws like a girl.” It is toxic, it is harmful, and it is EVERYWHERE. Our sons are marinated in it. It’s what draws people toward the misogyny of Jordan Peterson. It is rationalized supremacy. It is the evil necessitating the #MeToo movement. It is the beating heart of abuse in the world. It is the engine of war. It is the enemy of equality and peace. And it has got to go.
So HOW? Four things: 1) We have to acknowledge it exists. 2) We have to call it what it is: Immorality. Just because you think something has “always been this way” does NOT mean that it is natural or good. 3) We (especially men) have to speak up when we see it (see the video at the end). And 4) We have to do a better job raising our sons. I have two daughters and a pre-teen son, and let me tell you something: It is my experience that Male Entitlement is a very real thing. And left unchecked, it can become toxic. I don’t know if it’s something we messed up on as parents, if it’s societal, or if it’s biological. I’m not sure if it’s nature or nurture, but IT IS THERE… Regardless, it’s something my wife and I, as parents, have to WORK to educate him about EVERY. DAY. Whether you are raising boys or girls, whether you work with kids or you’re a teacher, or whether you are barely ever around kids at all, we MUST teach people that Toxic Masculinity exists, that it is wrong, and that we need to ALL call it out when we see it. And maybe the next generation will someday teach THEIR sons those same lessons…
If you are interested in learning more about Toxic Masculinity (and the role of the male bystander), this video is a really good place to start:
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